Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Media Tool for Catholic Parents

New Media Tool for Catholic Parents
Culture Gauge helps parents navigate popular culture

JUN. 26, 2010 ( - As a parent of growing kids, I find that navigating popular culture is a never-ending and exhausting task. What is okay to let the kids watch, see, and listen to? What kinds of television, music, movies, and video games are being marketed to children today? It can be challenging to keep up.

Finding the answers is never easy, but I am convinced that protecting our kids from negative influences and engaging them in conversations about the aspects of popular culture that are contrary to Christianity is one of the most important things we can do.

I am happy to have as a new weapon in my parental arsenal.

Jim Havens is the man behind the site. From the about page:

[Jim Havens] recognized three ways parents were dealing with the popular media: the unaware parent (“it’s not so bad”), the overprotective parent (“I will shield my child from all media”), and the wise parent (“I need to raise my child to understand the popular media messages and teach them how to reject the bad and choose the good”). Jim began thinking about an idea for a resource to help the wise parents. He called it Culture Gauge, and he hoped to launch a component of parish youth ministry to serve parents with this new idea.

At parents have access a Weekly Briefing that gives an overview of popular items in music, games, television, and movies that are currently being marketed to children and teens. It gives a thorough analysis of each of these items along with an overview of the “messages” young people are likely to hear in the words and images.

I like how in addition to a “caution rating” for each item, there are also suggested questions for parents and kids to further discuss the issues brought up by media. These discussion questions are a great resource for parents who say Yes to some kinds of media, but want to continue having open conversations about the challenges some of these kinds of entertainment might present to their faith.

There are different levels of affordable membership at This is a helpful new means of support in that all-important job of protecting our families from unhealthy influences while preparing our children to engage the culture as adults.


1 comment:

  1. I am a member of the Overprotective Parents Club.
    In some way, I get the feeling from Mr. Haven's description on his website, that we are somehow not "wise." However, even within good Catholic circles, I am saddened that we are still categorized... (I myself, suffer from this.) Instead, I like to think of Mr. Haven's parental categories as stages or even interior rooms, as St. Teresa described areas/levels of spirituality. The majority of today's parents need to be in the "wise" category that is directed toward. This website is just a step in God's process of purifying the world. However, there is still a "wise" purpose for overprotective parents. They are raising future adults that will hold steadfast to the removal of all inappropriate media messages. They won't be desensitized or tolerant. They will simply say no, no to supporting the media, and yes to supporting Truth and Purity only. They will help the purification process move forward. I truly believe if the Blessed Mother were raising children today, she would also fall into the Overprotective Parent Club. May God continue to provide the grace needed for all the interior rooms of today's culture.